x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Dubai Metro Red Line to start with 10 stations

Ten stations will initially be in operation when the Dubai Metro's Red Line opens on September 9.

Click here to see a map of the 10 stations on the Dubai Metro.

DUBAI // Ten stations will initially be in operation when the Metro's Red Line opens on September 9, it was announced yesterday. The remaining 19 stations will opened incrementally in groups up to next February, the Roads and Transport Authority said. The decision to open with only 10 stations came down to safety, said Mattar al Tayer, the chairman of the board and executive director of the RTA.

"We don't want the system to break down. We do not want to compromise safety," he said. "That is why we simply started with this [number of stations]." Stations selected for the initial opening met criteria established by the RTA, including the number of expected passengers, neighbouring development and the number of government buildings in the surrounding area. The 10 stations are: Rashidiya; Terminal 3 at Dubai International Airport; City Centre; Al Rigga; Union Square; Khalid bin Al Waleed; Jafliah; Financial Centre; Mall of the Emirates; and Nakheel Harbour and Tower.

Construction at some stations has not been completed because of the complex technical nature of the Metro, Mr al Tayer said. Other stations are fully built but do not have any development around them, he said. Stations will be added to the Red Line in groups of five to seven because of technical considerations. "We will not open them one by one. When we open more stations, we have to put them in a group," he said. "It is easier than adding them one by one, from a technical point of view."

Adding individual stations would be more difficult because it would require multiple reconfigurations of the software that controls the driverless trains. During Ramadan the Red Line will run from Saturday to Thursday between 6am and midnight, and on Friday between 2pm and midnight. After Ramadan the Saturday to Thursday service will end at 11pm. The Friday service will run at the same time as during Ramadan.

"We will run it on these times and see what the public thinks until December," Mr al Tayer said. "If they want it to run later, we'll run it later." The RTA hopes to run trains every four minutes, but at the beginning, there will be 10 minutes between departures at each station on the Red Line, with six trains every hour. To start, the Red Line will have the capacity to carry 3,858 passengers per hour in each direction.

The Rashidiya station is important because it is the starting point of the Red Line and has a multi-storey car park for 2,750 cars. It serves highly populated areas such as Rashidiya, Mirdif, Al Mizhar, Al Warqa and Nad Al Hummar. "Terminal 3 Station at Dubai International Airport will serve passengers arriving and departing Dubai City," he said, "while City Centre, Al Rigga and Khalid bin Al Waleed stations serve highly populated areas and commercial centres, with high traffic flow."

The Union Square and Khalid Bin Al Waleed stations were included in the initial 10 to open because of the expected high number of passengers from the city's central business district. Another major factor in the selection of stations was the number of government buildings nearby. "Jafliah Station serves Dubai Naturalisation and Residency Department's headquarters, Dubai Police Station and the new Etisalat building," Mr al Tayer said. "The opening of this station will reduce the pressure on roads and parking facilities for the large number of people who require these services regularly.

"The Financial Centre station will open to serve the business and financial district of Dubai." Mall of the Emirates was seen by the RTA as a popular station for tourists and residents. In addition, Nakheel Harbour and Tower station includes another multi-storey car park on the west side of the city that will accommodate up to 3,000 vehicles. eharnan@thenational.ae

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